Death of an American Beauty (Jane Prescott, #3)
The third in the compelling series, set in Gilded Age New York, featuring Jane Prescott.Jane Prescott is taking a break from her duties as lady’s maid for a week, and plans to begin it with attending the hottest and most scandalous show in town: the opening of an art exhibition, showcasing the cubists, that is shocking New York City. 1913 is also the fiftieth anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation speech, and the city's great and good are determined to celebrate in style. Dolly Rutherford, heiress to the glamorous Rutherford’s department store empire, has gathered her coterie of society ladies to put on a play—with Jane’s employer Louise Tyler in the starring role as Lincoln himself. Jane is torn between helping the ladies with their costumes and enjoying her holiday. But fate decides she will do neither, when a woman is found murdered outside Jane’s childhood home—a refuge for women run by her uncle.Deeply troubled as her uncle falls under suspicion and haunted by memories of a woman she once knew, Jane—with the help of old friends and new acquaintances, reporter Michael Behan and music hall pianist Leo Hirschfeld—is determined to discover who is who is making death into their own twisted art form.

Death of an American Beauty (Jane Prescott, #3) Details

TitleDeath of an American Beauty (Jane Prescott, #3)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 14th, 2020
PublisherMinotaur Books
ISBN-139781250210883
Rating
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery

Death of an American Beauty (Jane Prescott, #3) Review

  • Zoe
    January 1, 1970
    Authentic, atmospheric, and mysterious!In this latest novel by Fredericks, Death of an American Beauty, we head back to Manhattan during the early twentieth century and into the life of lady’s maid, Jane Prescott whose highly-anticipated vacation is suddenly turned upside down when a resident of her uncle’s refuge for reformed prostitutes is found viciously murdered, and the American Beauty Pagent is in urgent need of a last-minute seamstress.The prose is meticulous and rich. The characters are Authentic, atmospheric, and mysterious!In this latest novel by Fredericks, Death of an American Beauty, we head back to Manhattan during the early twentieth century and into the life of lady’s maid, Jane Prescott whose highly-anticipated vacation is suddenly turned upside down when a resident of her uncle’s refuge for reformed prostitutes is found viciously murdered, and the American Beauty Pagent is in urgent need of a last-minute seamstress.The prose is meticulous and rich. The characters are independent, intelligent, and resourceful. And the plot is a well-paced whodunit full of amateur sleuthing, red herrings, suspects, deduction, familial dynamics, duty, friendship, secrets, racial inequality, sexism, romance, violence, and murder.Death of an American Beauty is the third book in the Jane Prescott series, and if you love historical mysteries, this novel won’t disappoint. It is a menacing, entertaining, vivid tale that is certainly well worth a read.Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. This dragged a bit for me, but I'm going to blame that on my general difficulty concentrating on reading during all the current happenings. This series is really excellent, and gives the reader a chance to see into the daily lives of people who are often relegated to window dressing in many historical mystery series, where the focus is on the upper classes. I certainly enjoy those as well, but I love seeing a ladies' maid as the protagonist, as well as the other people in her orbit. I 3.5 stars. This dragged a bit for me, but I'm going to blame that on my general difficulty concentrating on reading during all the current happenings. This series is really excellent, and gives the reader a chance to see into the daily lives of people who are often relegated to window dressing in many historical mystery series, where the focus is on the upper classes. I certainly enjoy those as well, but I love seeing a ladies' maid as the protagonist, as well as the other people in her orbit. I didn't think the mystery was super compelling here, and the resolution depended on some rather dubious coincidences, but Jane Prescott and the historical details made up for anything that was lacking. Jane is on vacation for the events of the book, so we get to see even more of who she is apart from her employment, although she is wrangled into helping with costumes for a production her employer is part of. And the epilogue made me very excited for what is coming next! I highly recommend this series to anyone interested in historical mysteries, but I'd start at the beginning rather than jumping in with this one.*I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jaksen
    January 1, 1970
    No rating. Wouldn't be fair of me.I won this book through the Goodreads giveaway program - thanks so much! - but this isn't the book for me. The writing is superb, though, and the attention to detail, excellent. The historical accuracy is amazing, with references to music, street life and the upper-crust society of NYC, circa 1913 - all of it. I am always impressed when writers really know their time period, backwards and forwards. Why didn't I continue with the book? I found nothing about the s No rating. Wouldn't be fair of me.I won this book through the Goodreads giveaway program - thanks so much! - but this isn't the book for me. The writing is superb, though, and the attention to detail, excellent. The historical accuracy is amazing, with references to music, street life and the upper-crust society of NYC, circa 1913 - all of it. I am always impressed when writers really know their time period, backwards and forwards. Why didn't I continue with the book? I found nothing about the story or characters very interesting. I gave it over 200 pages and then said, nah, I am drifting while read. (And I'm watching a red squirrel chase the gray squirrel off my deck. ) This book is just not holding my attention. It's the story of a lady's maid who lives with her uncle in an old brothel which now helps out former prostitutes. The women receive help and training to improve and change their lives. However, someone is murdering them and so...Just not my cup of java, though I'm sure many would find this very entertaining. I need more story, more plot, more complex characters, therefore...No rating.
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  • Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)
    January 1, 1970
    📚 𝗛𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗼 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗱𝘀! I finished reading 𝗗𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝗻 𝗔𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗕𝗲𝗮𝘂𝘁𝘆 by Mariah Fredericks and here are my thoughts: This is the third book in the series. I have not read the first two and this put me at a disadvantage. The story was fast-paced and well written. I enjoyed the historical background on Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the suffrage and women’s rights. I struggle a bit with the plot and guess the ending too soon. That was a bit of a spoiler for the rest of my reading. If you l 📚 𝗛𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗼 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗱𝘀! I finished reading 𝗗𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝗻 𝗔𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗕𝗲𝗮𝘂𝘁𝘆 by Mariah Fredericks and here are my thoughts: This is the third book in the series. I have not read the first two and this put me at a disadvantage. The story was fast-paced and well written. I enjoyed the historical background on Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the suffrage and women’s rights. I struggle a bit with the plot and guess the ending too soon. That was a bit of a spoiler for the rest of my reading. If you like old fashion detective stories with a woman protagonist, this series is for you.🙋🏼‍♀️ Thank you, 𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗼𝘁𝗮𝘂𝗿 𝗕𝗼𝗼𝗸𝘀 for sending me an ARC of this exciting novel. 𝗗𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝗻 𝗔𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗕𝗲𝗮𝘂𝘁𝘆 by Mariah Fredericks is now available at your favourite bookstore.#poodles #poodlestagram #poodlesofinstagram #furbabies #dogsofinstagram #bookstagram #dogsandbooks #bookishlife #bookishlove #bookstagrammer #book #books #booklover #bookish #bookaholic #reading #readersofinstagram #instaread #ilovebooks #bookishcanadians #canadianbookstagram #bookreviewer #bookcommunity #bibliophile #bookphotography #deathofanamericanbeauty #mariahfredericks #bookreview #minotaurinfluencers
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  • Karen Kay
    January 1, 1970
    I received this from Netgalley.com for a review. Third in series. While Jane Prescott is on a much anticipated vacation, she gets caught up in a murder investigation. A good addition to the series, lots of historical background on Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation as well as suffrage and women's rights.3 ☆
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  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    I remember when Rhys Bowen started writing her Molly Murphy series. I inhaled them the second they were published. I loved (and still do) the mix of the feisty Molly, her journey of discovery as a new immigrant, the clever mysteries, and the turn of the century settings. Rhys Bowen has the gift of narrative. I am so happy to tell you – because I want to make you a fellow fan – that Mariah Fredericks has that very same gift.I have so far inhaled all three of her books featuring ladies’ maid Jane I remember when Rhys Bowen started writing her Molly Murphy series. I inhaled them the second they were published. I loved (and still do) the mix of the feisty Molly, her journey of discovery as a new immigrant, the clever mysteries, and the turn of the century settings. Rhys Bowen has the gift of narrative. I am so happy to tell you – because I want to make you a fellow fan – that Mariah Fredericks has that very same gift.I have so far inhaled all three of her books featuring ladies’ maid Jane Prescott, who works for the wealthy Mrs. Louise Tyler around the 1910’s. She has a way with a story, and a way of getting you to care about and be invested in her characters. In this novel Jane is on “vacation”, so she goes home. Home for Jane is a refuge for fallen women, run by her uncle, a Presbyterian pastor. He takes women who come from the streets and gives them a place to live, something to eat, and a little hope for the future and a different way of earning a living.As the women are setting up for the all-female ball they have every year and her uncle prepares to leave for the evening, talk turns to one of the girls, a stubborn one who had fled the boyfriend who attacked her but who still misses him. She is sneaking out and the women fear for her safety – with good reason. She is found dead the night of the ball.Unfortunately, Jane’s uncle is suspected of the crime and pilloried in the press, sending Jane off on a mission to discover the real killer. The mission involves finding an old resident of the home that gives the reader a look inside the lives of these desperate women. Jane also is called back into service. Her employer, the shy Mrs. Tyler (readers will have come to love her in the other novels), has been pressed into portraying Abraham Lincoln in a pageant at one of the biggest department stores in the city. They will also be crowning a new “Miss Rutherford” – Rutherford’s is the department store – and along with Louise, Mr. and Mrs. Rutherford are heavily involved in running the pageant from every angle.While in other novels Fredericks has touched on social inequality, anarchy, immigration and the rights of women, in this novel, while she touches heartbreakingly on the way African Americans were/are treated, what she brings to full, breathing life is Rutherford’s Department Store. These kinds of stores no longer exist but they live on in my memory.Anyone who grew up in Chicago will have a memory of Marshall Field’s – and when I was a young woman, I worked at the great Dayton’s in Minneapolis. These stores were practically cities – they had everything. Field’s had a bakery, a fabric department, a bookstore – and many of them hosted events, much like the pageant described in the book. When I worked at Dayton’s in the 80’s I was lucky enough to see in the store Lana Turner, Better Midler, Gloria Vanderbilt and Paloma Picasso, just to name a few. Rutherford’s is just the same kind of store, with floors filled with beautiful things, and the salesladies to get you into those things. Jane works her fingers to the bone altering costumes for the pageant performers, and also gets swept away for a night of dancing by a bold piano player.This book breathes life and excitement. The story – which piles up a few bodies – is wrenching, and hard to look away from. It’s surrounded by the world of 1913, and I truly felt transported. Very unfortunately I finished this read in a day and now must wait another year for a visit with Jane Prescott. I urge you to make her acquaintance if you haven’t already.
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  • Homerun2
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsAn entertaining historical mystery set in New York in 1913. Lady's maid Jane Prescott is supposedly having a vacation away from Lady Louise, but she soon gets sucked into helping with a society women's pageant being sponsored by a local department store.Jane was raised by her uncle, who is a minister who runs a refuge for reformed prostitutes. His neighbors are hateful, to the point of picketing and physical violence. When one of the women is found murdered, suspicion falls on him. Jane 3.5 starsAn entertaining historical mystery set in New York in 1913. Lady's maid Jane Prescott is supposedly having a vacation away from Lady Louise, but she soon gets sucked into helping with a society women's pageant being sponsored by a local department store.Jane was raised by her uncle, who is a minister who runs a refuge for reformed prostitutes. His neighbors are hateful, to the point of picketing and physical violence. When one of the women is found murdered, suspicion falls on him. Jane and her reporter friend Michael Behan are soon investigating.I have read all three of this series and I don't think it has coalesced yet, although the books are enjoyable. The first was a lot of Upstairs, Downstairs type interactions, the second dealt with some serious societal issues, and this one is more a straight mystery. Jane's background plays a part in this but the feeling is that there are still some hidden factors. Jane is a strong female heroine, smart and brave.Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it! I never tire of the winning, kind-hearted heroine Jane & the characters drawn into her world. Although “just” a ladies maid, she is the center of the action & holds the household together. Every plot point, conversation, entertainment, commentary brings 1913 NYC to life—with all its glories & grisliness . . . I tried to make it last, but it was still over too soon . . . Loved it! I never tire of the winning, kind-hearted heroine Jane & the characters drawn into her world. Although “just” a ladies maid, she is the center of the action & holds the household together. Every plot point, conversation, entertainment, commentary brings 1913 NYC to life—with all its glories & grisliness . . . I tried to make it last, but it was still over too soon . . .
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  • Diane Secchiaroli
    January 1, 1970
    The novel takes place during the Gilded Age in New York City. The protagonist, Jane, works as a maid for a mrs. Tyler and lives in her uncles house of refuge for women. When two of the women are savagely murdered Jane wants to find out who antagonist is.because her uncle is a suspect. Throughout the novel she selects different men only to find out they are not the villain. Mrs Rutherford of Rutherford Department store is putting on a American Beauty pageant and Jane must decide. whether or not t The novel takes place during the Gilded Age in New York City. The protagonist, Jane, works as a maid for a mrs. Tyler and lives in her uncles house of refuge for women. When two of the women are savagely murdered Jane wants to find out who antagonist is.because her uncle is a suspect. Throughout the novel she selects different men only to find out they are not the villain. Mrs Rutherford of Rutherford Department store is putting on a American Beauty pageant and Jane must decide. whether or not to work as a seamstress or enjoy her holiday.. (which will become relevant later on.). The novel beautifully describes the characters and Jane’s obsession with each one. She seeks out Otelia a woman who was at the home after being cut on her face to find out what she remembered about the attack but Otelia only remembers that she had cut him on his wrist. At the end of the story Jane figures out who the antagonist is, but is caught by him and is fighting for her life when she is saved by Otelia who shoots the man. Otelia is then accused and no one believes Jane that Otelia had saved her life. The evidence is in the man’s safe but his wife won’t let the police open it. Finally Jane convinces a reporter that she had thought was the villain and had stirred up the accusations against her uncle to write a campaign to have the safe opened. Once the safe was opened and the antagonist was verified Otelia was let out of prison.The novel explores how the black people were treated during this timeframe. I have not read the first two novels in this series but this novel stands on it’s own. Thanks to St. Martin Press and netgalley for allowing me to review this novel.
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  • Carin
    January 1, 1970
    This is the third in the Jane Prescott historical mystery series, after A Death of No Importance and Death of a New American. I was starting to worry a tad about murder just following this ladies' maid wherever she goes, as the Upper Classes would notice that pretty much right away. So in this book, there's a divergence, which distracts from that entirely.Jane is taking a week's vacation. She's visiting with her uncle, who raised her, at the home for former prostitutes which he runs. When one of This is the third in the Jane Prescott historical mystery series, after A Death of No Importance and Death of a New American. I was starting to worry a tad about murder just following this ladies' maid wherever she goes, as the Upper Classes would notice that pretty much right away. So in this book, there's a divergence, which distracts from that entirely.Jane is taking a week's vacation. She's visiting with her uncle, who raised her, at the home for former prostitutes which he runs. When one of them is brutally murdered in the street, sadly, it seems like just another statistic and predictable, (eliminating any reason to worry that murders follow Jane around.) A new resident of the house snuck out one evening, as the house was getting ready for an annual party they throw for themselves, and when Jane goes looking for the young woman, she finds her body in a nearby alley. When she isn't suspecting at all, is for the police, with the help of some protesting religious NIMBYs who want his house shut down, to finger her uncle as the prime suspect. Naturally, Jane has to find out who really did it to clear his name.Meanwhile, she's roped into helping out with a department store's annual beauty pageant, where she meets an exciting and fun piano player, and naturally her reporter friend Michael Behan makes an appearance. As usual, the period details are spot-on and fascinating, Jane is delightfully snappy and curious, and I for one was kept guessing as to who was the real perpetrator until moments before the Big Reveal. A fast, fun read.
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  • Michelle Kenneth - PerfectionistWannabe.com
    January 1, 1970
    I'll admit it. I could not wait until the killer was revealed, because Jane Prescott kept running down all the wrong assumptions and I couldn't take it anymore, so I flipped to the back of the book to see who the murderer was and then returned to the story. I'm going to tell you right now that the hints were so subtle, you're not going to find out who the murderer is until Jane does. I really liked how well Fredericks painted NYC in 1913. The city is on the cusp of new ideas and changes as women I'll admit it. I could not wait until the killer was revealed, because Jane Prescott kept running down all the wrong assumptions and I couldn't take it anymore, so I flipped to the back of the book to see who the murderer was and then returned to the story. I'm going to tell you right now that the hints were so subtle, you're not going to find out who the murderer is until Jane does. I really liked how well Fredericks painted NYC in 1913. The city is on the cusp of new ideas and changes as women relish in a little more freedom, artists discover new ways of dissecting the human form, gangsters rule, and women are learning to become more independent business owners.I really loved Otelia Brook's character. I loved how she found her way, despite the sorrows she suffered, and the obstacles she faced being a black woman. She created her own notoriety in secret. She didn't want anyone to know she was the woman who created these amazing hats for special people. I also loved that she owned her own salon and had women working for her, while she sat in a back room making hats all of the time. Fredericks created lovable characters, and did an amazing job describing New York in 1913. I felt like I could see it and feel it before all of the skyscrapers took over the island. As for the murder mystery part of the book, like I said, you won't figure it out until Jane does. There are no clues. NONE. Until she explains the clues were always there and then you realize how subtle they were.
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  • Laura plantladyreader
    January 1, 1970
    Death of an American Beauty is a gripping tale of murder in early 20th century New York. There is a brutal killer maiming women who have fallen into disrepute, and have a history of selling their bodies to make ends meet. Jane Prescott, lady's maid, has a personal tie with this killer - he is killing women her uncle have helped get off the streets, teaching them life skills they can use to find more suitable work for themselves. Her search for the killer takes her through all classes, from the u Death of an American Beauty is a gripping tale of murder in early 20th century New York. There is a brutal killer maiming women who have fallen into disrepute, and have a history of selling their bodies to make ends meet. Jane Prescott, lady's maid, has a personal tie with this killer - he is killing women her uncle have helped get off the streets, teaching them life skills they can use to find more suitable work for themselves. Her search for the killer takes her through all classes, from the upper class, the working class, and the lower class. We get a glimpse at how different classes lived their lives, what they found important, and how they react to this shocking killer. We also get a glimpse into how unfortunately People of Colour were treated in early 20th century America. Jane's uncle becomes a prime suspect in the murders, thanks to the radical religious group who protests outside his refuge for women. Jane uses all the resources she can, tapping into her employer Louise Tyler, reporters Michael Behan, musician Leo Hirshfield and Ella Dodson, an ambitious reporter who connects her to a long-lost friend, Otelia Brooks. Through these outlets, Jane discovers the identity of the killer, and it is not who you expect.Overall, I enjoyed this novel. I felt like I had figured out the killer a couple of times, only to be proven wrong. Jane becomes suspicious of everyone she meets, and it does get a little tiresome that every male who enters the story is immediately suspected. However, she follows the clues and lands on the killer. I didn't find this as thrilling as I would have liked, but the ending was very exciting and satisfying. The murders are rather gruesome, and there is some violence against POC that is described that was a little difficult to read. Would still recommend this as a read!3.5🌿
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  • Carol lowkey.bookish
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book! I especially liked the description of 1913 New York, the glittering glamor of the wealthy and the seedier realistic working class. We also get glimpses into the music scene and journalism in the early 20th Century. The mystery part of the book kept me guessing and I didn’t figure out the murderer until the very end. This is the third in a series and I hadn’t read the first two books so it took me a few chapters to get the characters straight. I do wish I knew more abo I really enjoyed this book! I especially liked the description of 1913 New York, the glittering glamor of the wealthy and the seedier realistic working class. We also get glimpses into the music scene and journalism in the early 20th Century. The mystery part of the book kept me guessing and I didn’t figure out the murderer until the very end. This is the third in a series and I hadn’t read the first two books so it took me a few chapters to get the characters straight. I do wish I knew more about Jane so I want to go back and read the other books in the series! This book was received as an ARC from St. Martin's Press - Minotaur Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.
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  • Kristine
    January 1, 1970
    Death of an American Beauty by Mariah Fredericks is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-March.This book comes off as randomly busy with a lot going on. It describes 1st person narration of a ladies’ maid, Jane, as put upon, overlooked, and a little annoyed by her husband and wife clients and their dotty social circle. As mysterious deaths and an investigation takes place and is lorded over by a female detective, Clementine, it quickly becomes clear that Jane is more than what she seems wit Death of an American Beauty by Mariah Fredericks is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-March.This book comes off as randomly busy with a lot going on. It describes 1st person narration of a ladies’ maid, Jane, as put upon, overlooked, and a little annoyed by her husband and wife clients and their dotty social circle. As mysterious deaths and an investigation takes place and is lorded over by a female detective, Clementine, it quickly becomes clear that Jane is more than what she seems with powers of CSI-like hypersensitivity, so she does her own line of questioning and gathers & narrows down a group of suspects.
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  • Lauren Good
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed the first two installments in this series, but here I just wanted to yell at our heroine. How many times did she jump to conclusions based on little or no evidence? At least three. How many times was she dead wrong? Also at least three. I just felt like she was getting dumber rather than savvier.
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  • Angie
    January 1, 1970
    Full review can be found here: https://www.criminalelement.com/revie... Full review can be found here: https://www.criminalelement.com/revie...
  • Lesa
    January 1, 1970
    Mariah Fredericks' mysteries featuring lady's maid Jane Prescott are rich in the cultural issues of New York during 1910-1913. At the same time, they're engrossing mysteries with an observant young woman familiar with several social classes. In Death of an American Beauty, Jane has to step out of her comfort zone to find a killer who is striking close to home.Jane is fortunate in her employer. When Louise Benchley married William Tyler, Jane went to the Tyler household. She's appreciated there, Mariah Fredericks' mysteries featuring lady's maid Jane Prescott are rich in the cultural issues of New York during 1910-1913. At the same time, they're engrossing mysteries with an observant young woman familiar with several social classes. In Death of an American Beauty, Jane has to step out of her comfort zone to find a killer who is striking close to home.Jane is fortunate in her employer. When Louise Benchley married William Tyler, Jane went to the Tyler household. She's appreciated there, and even has a week's vacation. Her first plans are to attend the scandalous art exhibit at the Armory where the International Exhibition of Modern Art features Cubists. She runs into a friend, Michael Behan, a reporter for the Herald who is there to cover the reaction of ordinary people. But, Michael's a little surprised when she says she's off to spend the evening at her uncle's refuge where women could learn skills. She's heading to the Southern Baptist Ladies' Cotillion, otherwise known in the refuge as "the Whores' Ball", no men allowed.But, the Lower East Side is being gentrified, and Clementine Pickett isn't happy with the refuge, although it has been there for years. While she and her group of supporters protest in front of the refuge, rival protestors are across the street. And, everyone seems to be there when the body of Sadie, one of the girls, is found brutally murdered in the alley. Everyone's there except Jane's uncle, the Reverend Tewin Prescott. It doesn't take long for Mrs. Pickett to accuse the reverend of killing Sadie. When a former resident is also murdered, the outcry only gets worse. If the police aren't going to hunt for the real killer, Jane will. She knows it's not her uncle, although he won't provide an alibi.It may be Jane's vacation, but she's spending the time on everyone but herself. She's assisting her employer, Louise, at Rutherford's, a high-class department store where women can shop, "Where every American Beauty blooms." Louise is participating in a pageant celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, a pageant that accompanies the annual hunt for "Miss Rutherford", and Jane is altering costumes.Fredericks brings back a few familiar characters, but introduces some new ones, include a pianist/composer, Leo Hirschfeld, who is playing for the pageant, and a former resident, Otelia Brooks, who impressed Jane even when Jane was only eleven. Both of these characters introduce Jane to parts of New York, and stories of the city, that she did not know.From the Lower East Side to high-class department stores, from Harlem to gangster clubs, Mariah Fredericks creates an atmosphere that brings this period and the city to life. She doesn't hesitate in any of the three books in the series to address issues of classism, racism and prejudice. And, for those who have been following the series, the epilogues in the books are enticing glimpses into the life of Jane Prescott.Fredericks' Death of an American Beauty is a well-researched, complicated historical mystery with an intriguing, determined amateur sleuth. Anyone who appreciates mysteries whose atmosphere is created by the stories of the people and social classes should try these books.
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  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    Death of an American Beauty is the third book in the Jane Prescott series by Mariah Fredericks. The second book was excellent, and I was extremely excited to get my greedy little paws on this one. If you haven't read the previous installments, don't fret; though they share characters, each story stands just fine on it own. I unfortunately haven't had the opportunity to read the first book yet, but I wasn't lost in the least. Series like this one has made me a huge fan of historical mysteries.Jan Death of an American Beauty is the third book in the Jane Prescott series by Mariah Fredericks. The second book was excellent, and I was extremely excited to get my greedy little paws on this one. If you haven't read the previous installments, don't fret; though they share characters, each story stands just fine on it own. I unfortunately haven't had the opportunity to read the first book yet, but I wasn't lost in the least. Series like this one has made me a huge fan of historical mysteries.Jane Prescott, lady's maid for Louise Tyler, is heading home for a week's vacation. Where is home? That would be a refuge for fallen women run by her uncle, who took Jane in when she was just three years old. Jane is thrilled to begin her time off by going to an art exhibit featuring the shocking cubists. (Cubism is NOT my style of art; give me a Van Gogh any time.). When an animal is found mutilated outside the gallery, Jane doesn't know it's a portent of things to come... Jane's next plan involves the yearly dance for the women in her uncle's shelter. All have a wonderful time, until one of the ladies sneak out. Jane finds her, dead and mutilated; her appearance brings forth memories of someone from Jane's past . If that wasn't enough to ruin a vacation, Mrs. Tyler enlists Jane's aid with costumes for a show by society ladies celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, to take place at the renowned Rutherford's department store. When another women is found murdered and suspicion falls on Jane's uncle, she is determined to figure out who is committing these murders.This is one murder mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat. I figured out whodunit numerous times; apparently detection isn't my strong suit. I was totally taken by suprise. It's the characters, though, who kept me so engaged. Jane is a young woman, but she's seen a lot in her short lifespan. She is smart, stubborn and caring of those in her sphere. Her reporter friend Michael Behan makes his appearance; I still can't figure out the relationship between Jane and Michael, which intrigues me. Mrs. Tyler is as sweet and shy as ever. One of my favorite characters, however, was Leo Hirschfeld, a music hall pianist/singing waiter. Oh, but Leo was handsome and charming! He made me giggle, though I'm far from being a young lass. At story's end we discover that Jane will be traveling to Europe with Mrs. Tyler. I'm excited about the trouble no doubt awaiting Jane there!I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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  • Donald Scott
    January 1, 1970
    Book three in the Jane Prescott mystery series, set in Gilded Age New York City, was my introduction to Mariah Fredericks's plucky (and I mean that in the nicest way) ladies'maid heroine, who this go-round has her vacation interrupted when murder strikes too close to her former home. Abandoned by her father at the age of three, Jane arrived in New York to live with her uncle in a former brothel he now runs as a refuge for women trying to start a new and better life. Even with her rather stern un Book three in the Jane Prescott mystery series, set in Gilded Age New York City, was my introduction to Mariah Fredericks's plucky (and I mean that in the nicest way) ladies'maid heroine, who this go-round has her vacation interrupted when murder strikes too close to her former home. Abandoned by her father at the age of three, Jane arrived in New York to live with her uncle in a former brothel he now runs as a refuge for women trying to start a new and better life. Even with her rather stern uncle, Jane's memories of her childhood home are good ones - though in recent times the refuge finds itself under siege by a band of pious "Christians" determined to shut down the place; so determined, in fact, they allude to Jane's uncle having more than a Christian interest in the women he boards there for free. Things go from bad to worse, however, when one of the more rambunctious of the lady residents is found murdered in an alley not too far from the refuge, her face butchered nearly beyond recognition, and - while also trying to help her employer work on costumes for a huge festival coming up at one of New York's largest/most renowned department stores for women - Jane finds herself playing detective to track down the killer when suspicion falls squarely on her uncle for the crime. My recent experience with mysteries has been more along the "cozy" lines, and that's definitely not what this is; Death of an American Beauty is a pure-blood historical mystery that fares a bit bloodier and randier in subject matter than any cozy. My interest in the book stemmed from my love of New York City and wanting to check out the author's "feel" for how it was back in 1913, and I have to admit that I was captivated by the city - as much a character itself - and its denizens as I was by Jane and the supporting cast, in what ended up being one of my favorites mystery reads in awhile, as well. Jane fixates quite quickly on who she thinks the killer is, the novel not so much about her detection and chasing down suspects (which may throw some mystery junkies, though it made me love the book that much more) as it is about her working through, by process of elimination, who could fit the bill. Even then, for me at least the ending was a surprise - and quite a suspenseful one; I didn't realize, until almost the end of the final confrontation (so to speak), that I'd been chewing on my bottom lip the whole time I was reading. Suspenseful, very well-written - so that you are put into the time and place of NYC 1913 immediately - and with a wholly likable cast of characters (including Jane's employer, male crime reporter friend, former mentor and hat-making friend from the refuge, and potential piano-playing suitor), though this was my introduction to Jane Prescott and her world, I most certainly can't wait to jump back to read the first two, to be able to catch up in time for book four. Very well-done. 4.5/5 stars #DeathofanAmericanBeautyNOTE: I received a free ARC of this title from NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    Death of an American Beauty, by Mariah Fredericks, is the third entry in a mystery series set in New York City during the very early part of the twentieth century. It features Jane Prescott, a ladies’ maid, as the primary sleuth. Jane is smart, responsible, complicated, and way, way ahead of her time. She is well-positioned to observe the ways of the “upper” class for whom she works and the working class from whom she came. In 1913, New York is inundated with change of all sorts. Immigration is Death of an American Beauty, by Mariah Fredericks, is the third entry in a mystery series set in New York City during the very early part of the twentieth century. It features Jane Prescott, a ladies’ maid, as the primary sleuth. Jane is smart, responsible, complicated, and way, way ahead of her time. She is well-positioned to observe the ways of the “upper” class for whom she works and the working class from whom she came. In 1913, New York is inundated with change of all sorts. Immigration is surging. Manufacturing and the emergence of the department store are changing women’s fashions as well as women’s purchasing power. For better and worse, poor women have new employment possibilities. Fredericks is a master of bringing these details to life as she vividly depicts the gritty streets of the poor and the opulent offices of the princes of industry and trade. She is equally adept at depicting the social, economic, racial and gender inequities of the time. Unfortunately, neither her characters (with the exception of Jane) nor the mystery they are attempting to resolve rise to the level of the rich backdrop the author has created. The characters seem wooden and dimensionless. The plot and mystery seem contrived.I would read these books for the history. Where else can you read how the bra was invented and imagine the impact this had on a woman’s daily life? But the characters and plot fall short.Thank you so much to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read an electronic ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    All of the books in the Jane Prescott series end up being heavier in terms of subject matter than I seem to expect before reading, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable and satisfying. Charming heroine Jane is back for a third round of amateur detective work in Death of an American Beauty, this time focusing on a string of crimes related to her Uncle and his business. The murders in this one are grisly, as are the backstories of some of the victims, but Fredericks again proves a deft han All of the books in the Jane Prescott series end up being heavier in terms of subject matter than I seem to expect before reading, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable and satisfying. Charming heroine Jane is back for a third round of amateur detective work in Death of an American Beauty, this time focusing on a string of crimes related to her Uncle and his business. The murders in this one are grisly, as are the backstories of some of the victims, but Fredericks again proves a deft hand at tackling such subject matter without excessively downing out the reader, as she has in her previous novels.The lovable cast of supporting characters both lightens the mood and helps us continue to further invest in Jane and her world. Jane’s uncle plays a larger role in this book and the Benchleys a smaller one than in the previous novels, but the shift in focus seems to help keep the series fresh. And thankfully we see very little of the horrid Anna in this book, though she still manages to be thoroughly obnoxious even in the few paragraphs she’s allotted this time around. While the solve is a bit banal and fairly predictable, it’s still one that satisfies and adds up with the information we’re given throughout the book prior to the big reveal. And speaking of big reveals, there’s a reveal of a fun side plot point at the end of the book that hints at something enjoyable and different for the fourth installment in the series. I look forward to it. *I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.-*
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Death of an American Beauty by Mariah Fredricks is the third installment in this historical fiction, murder/mystery series featuring Jane Prescott, a feisty female protagonist that works for a wealthy family during the “Gilded Age” 1910s in NYC. I have to confess, this is my first exposure to this author, and also this series, and I had no problems diving right in. I think I would appreciate the characters even more if I had read the previous two, however it is definitely not necessary.I enjoyed Death of an American Beauty by Mariah Fredricks is the third installment in this historical fiction, murder/mystery series featuring Jane Prescott, a feisty female protagonist that works for a wealthy family during the “Gilded Age” 1910s in NYC. I have to confess, this is my first exposure to this author, and also this series, and I had no problems diving right in. I think I would appreciate the characters even more if I had read the previous two, however it is definitely not necessary.I enjoyed Jane. She is a strong, fiery, and intelligent “amateur” sleuth that gets placed into situations that seem to end up involving a murder. I enjoyed learning about Jane’s family and background, andI feel that makes Jane more relatable and likable. I really enjoyed this book and I am going to read the previous two books because I would love to learn even more about the awesome Jane Prescott and her interactions with the family she works for. I also find the early 1900s New England/NY fascinating, so this made me love this story even more. The plot was creative, interesting, and appropriately paced. I enjoyed the characters and ending as well.4/5 starsThank you NetGalley and Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s Press for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am submitting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon and B&N accounts upon publication.
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  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.This is my first book by Fredericks, and I am impressed with her handle of history. She clearly enjoys New York City history and American history in general. At times, historical tidbits did interrupt the narrative, but as I am also a fan of history, I didn't really mind. Some of the snippets Fredericks shared were quite fascinating, and it fit with the character of Jane Prescott, giving the reader a view to I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.This is my first book by Fredericks, and I am impressed with her handle of history. She clearly enjoys New York City history and American history in general. At times, historical tidbits did interrupt the narrative, but as I am also a fan of history, I didn't really mind. Some of the snippets Fredericks shared were quite fascinating, and it fit with the character of Jane Prescott, giving the reader a view to Jane's interest in contemporary affairs.This is not the first book in the Jane Prescott series, but I easily slipped into it. Fredericks does an excellent job of catching the reader up while not launching into large recaps of previous books. I felt an instant connection to Jane. It's nice to find a character that is not rich, a socialite or celebrity. Jane is a simple maid that encounters every walk of life in 1910s New York City. She is accidentally pulled into a murder mystery involving her uncle's refuge for former prostitutes. The mystery is not so complex as to require a gumshoe, but it reveals the many layers of society in NYC at the time and the tensions between the two that so easily thwarted police work. This book is an excellent exhibition of social complexities of 1910s NYC.The ending felt rushed, but it was satisfying. I will definitely be picking up Jane's next adventure.
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  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    This third book in Fredericks’ Jane Prescott mystery series is rich in historical detail and provides an intimate walk through early twentieth century Manhattan. The settings and characters—both heroes and villains—are vividly drawn; you can practically feel the grit crunching beneath your feet while approaching a frightening scene in a deserted warehouse district at night.Prescott, a ladies maid to newly married, upper class Louise Tyler, once again finds herself in the middle of a murder. This This third book in Fredericks’ Jane Prescott mystery series is rich in historical detail and provides an intimate walk through early twentieth century Manhattan. The settings and characters—both heroes and villains—are vividly drawn; you can practically feel the grit crunching beneath your feet while approaching a frightening scene in a deserted warehouse district at night.Prescott, a ladies maid to newly married, upper class Louise Tyler, once again finds herself in the middle of a murder. This time, however, the stakes are quite personal as they involve her much-loved uncle, a minister who operates a home and training center for women who’ve gone astray.What pulls this book well above the mystery genre mainstream is how firmly the story is embedded in its time and place. Everything and everyone is on display: sexual mores, race, ragtime musicians, dance halls, organized crime bosses, and the rigid socioeconomic standards that dictated behavior and even the administration of justice. At its finest, the novel allows readers to walk through a very specific period of New York City’s history and feel the different character and tone of each neighborhood, the wonder of the city’s bustling growth, and, often, the horrors that accompanied it all.I read this book almost straight through, stopping only in the wee hours of the night so that I could have a clear head to enjoy the story’s payoff the next day.
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  • Ellen
    January 1, 1970
    📚 BOOK REVIEW- Death of an American Beauty 📚Death of an American Beauty is the third book in the series featuring Jane Prescott, Lady’s maid and burgeoning sleuth. In this outing see a much more personal side to Jane as she struggles to untangle the mystery that has wrapped around her home and family...I quite enjoyed this one as it predominantly featured The Refugee, Janes childhood home, that is also a sanctuary for fallen women. Through this we are able to learn more about Jane, her inner tho 📚 BOOK REVIEW- Death of an American Beauty 📚Death of an American Beauty is the third book in the series featuring Jane Prescott, Lady’s maid and burgeoning sleuth. In this outing see a much more personal side to Jane as she struggles to untangle the mystery that has wrapped around her home and family...I quite enjoyed this one as it predominantly featured The Refugee, Janes childhood home, that is also a sanctuary for fallen women. Through this we are able to learn more about Jane, her inner thoughts, and her relationship with her Uncle. And this really intrigued me. As did the history of newspapers and their ability to influence in the 1900s...I have found that each book has dealt with a different social issue of the times and Death of American Beauty continues that thread. They are always well balanced and leave considering the issue and how things have it have not really changed since that time. I think that may be why I so enjoy this series - a good mystery with well developed characters dealing with issues that make you think...This was another strong outing in the series - one that hope continues to have more in. Thank you Minotaur Books and Edelweiss for my e - arc in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • joyce w. laudon
    January 1, 1970
    This is the third entry in Ms. Fredericks's historical mystery series featuring ladies maid, Jane Prescott.  The novels are set in New York in the early 1900s, with this story taking place in 1913. I read last year's title, Death of a New American, which I enjoyed so I was excited to receive an ARC of Death of an American Beauty.  This time Jane plans on taking a break from her ladies maid duties and intends to start by taking in a bit of culture.  She wants to attend an exhibit of the (radical) This is the third entry in Ms. Fredericks's historical mystery series featuring ladies maid, Jane Prescott.  The novels are set in New York in the early 1900s, with this story taking place in 1913. I read last year's title, Death of a New American, which I enjoyed so I was excited to receive an ARC of Death of an American Beauty.  This time Jane plans on taking a break from her ladies maid duties and intends to start by taking in a bit of culture.  She wants to attend an exhibit of the (radical) new artists of the Cubist movement. However, life does not always go as planned and instead Jane becomes involved in another murder investigation. Someone is murdered outside the home where Jane grew up.  Jane's uncle, who runs a refuge for former prostitutes there becomes a suspect.  Jane naturally becomes involved in the case wanting to clear her uncle.  She is helped by her friend, the reporter, Michael, a character known from the previous book. Fans of historical mysteries should enjoy this title.  The author does a good job creating an engaging situation for Jane.  Note that this title can be read as a standalone but the other titles in the series are also worth picking up.Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sydney
    January 1, 1970
    Jane Prescott is supposed to be getting a vacation from her life as lady's maid to Louise Tyler in this third volume in the series. Of course, things get complicated very quickly. One of the ladies staying at Jane's uncle's refuge for prostitutes is murdered. Louise makes a frantic call to Jane for help with a society pageant she has been roped into being a part of. And that's just the beginning. It took me a while to get through this book, and I am not sure why. I did like it very much--I liked Jane Prescott is supposed to be getting a vacation from her life as lady's maid to Louise Tyler in this third volume in the series. Of course, things get complicated very quickly. One of the ladies staying at Jane's uncle's refuge for prostitutes is murdered. Louise makes a frantic call to Jane for help with a society pageant she has been roped into being a part of. And that's just the beginning. It took me a while to get through this book, and I am not sure why. I did like it very much--I liked the new characters the author brings in for this story, I appreciated the way the book branched out to include different settings than the society circles that Jane's employers travel in. The mystery itself was not the best part of this book--as improbable as it was, the reader sees how things are going to go from a mile away. The depiction of the New York of the time, including the fancy department store, Harlem, the dance halls, the lower East Side ... that was the best part for me. It feels like the author may have wrapped things up for Jane at the end of this book, so this may be the last time we see her, I am not totally sure. This has been an enjoyable series, and I recommend it for readers who like a strong historical setting along with their mystery.
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  • Deb
    January 1, 1970
    Death of an American Beauty by Mariah FredericksFun from start to finish, this historically based novel will hold the mystery for you until the end. Miss Jane Prescott, our protagonist, persists in finding answers. Mariah Frederick’s way with words are a joy to read and will have you smiling throughout. It’s time for the yearly beauty pageant at Rutherford’s, the New York City department store where only the finest ladies of the early 1900s shop for the finest things. Everyone associated with Ru Death of an American Beauty by Mariah FredericksFun from start to finish, this historically based novel will hold the mystery for you until the end. Miss Jane Prescott, our protagonist, persists in finding answers. Mariah Frederick’s way with words are a joy to read and will have you smiling throughout. It’s time for the yearly beauty pageant at Rutherford’s, the New York City department store where only the finest ladies of the early 1900s shop for the finest things. Everyone associated with Rutherford’s is vested in this pageant, including Jane. Within days, however, two young girls known to both Jane Prescott and her do-good uncle are found dead near where the Prescotts live. There is no clue as to why they were killed. Ah, but that was before Jane started asking questions. There are suspects and Jane will ferret out the truth. If you would like an easy beach or book club read, this funny, well put together story is a perfect choice for readers of all levels. Thank you to #StMartinsPress and #NetGalley for a chance to read and review this title ahead.
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    "Death of an American Beauty" is a mystery set in 1913 in New York. This book is the third in a series but it can be read as a stand alone. The characters were interesting and reacted realistically to events. There was a lot of interesting historical detail about what was going on at the time, though some of it was not directly related to the mystery. The novels tend to focus on the struggles faced by different ethnic groups.Jane's uncle is accused of murder, so she tried to learn about a past, "Death of an American Beauty" is a mystery set in 1913 in New York. This book is the third in a series but it can be read as a stand alone. The characters were interesting and reacted realistically to events. There was a lot of interesting historical detail about what was going on at the time, though some of it was not directly related to the mystery. The novels tend to focus on the struggles faced by different ethnic groups.Jane's uncle is accused of murder, so she tried to learn about a past, similar murder to solve the current ones. Jane was basically just randomly guessing the people she didn't like until her one clue became useful. She stupidly put herself in danger several times, not thinking out how she would accomplish her goal or the dangers involved. Frankly, I lost my respect for her as a detective. There were no sex scenes or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this historical mystery to those mostly interested in the historical aspects.I received an ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
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  • Linda Fast
    January 1, 1970
    Jane Prescott is a lady's maid in New York in 1913 and is on vacation visiting her Uncle's mission, a house of refuge for women escaping life on the street. Although Jane is on vacation she is helping her employer by volunteering as a seamstress in a play that is celebrating Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.Two women from the refuge have been murdered and Jane's uncle is looking guilty as he will not give an alibi. Jane decides she must prove her Uncle's innocence and find out who has murdere Jane Prescott is a lady's maid in New York in 1913 and is on vacation visiting her Uncle's mission, a house of refuge for women escaping life on the street. Although Jane is on vacation she is helping her employer by volunteering as a seamstress in a play that is celebrating Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.Two women from the refuge have been murdered and Jane's uncle is looking guilty as he will not give an alibi. Jane decides she must prove her Uncle's innocence and find out who has murdered the women.What I found in this novel really interesting is peoples' attitudes and views as well as the history. While we as a society have progressed I find our views and attitudes have not to some degree. There is still prejudice against women and minorities. This is the 3rd book in a series and I am looking forward to reading the 1st &2nd book. I received this book free of charge in exchange for my review.
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